Karl Marx: Free Speech Warrior

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After completing his doctoral dissertation, Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature (1) in 1841, Marx struggled to find work in academia. His radical views went against the grain of the ‘status quo’, much like Right wing thinkers are alienated from academia in our current time, it appears academia has never approved of opposing opinions in any era.

At age 23, young Karl Marx moved into journalism, one of the “few fields open to nonconformist thought”, as the editor of Reheinische Zeitung (2). By 25 he had transformed the newspaper into a outlet for radical ideas, drawing the ire of the Prussian Government who responded in 1842 by enforcing extreme censorship laws to silence dissenting opinions. Admirably (and I mean that sincerely), Marx responded by publishing his first major political essay, Remarks on the Latest Prussian Censorship Instruction. We will here quote a few passages for this text:

“Truth is universal. It does not belong to me, it belongs to all; it possesses me, I do not possess it. My Style is my property; it is the spiritual individuality. Le style cést l’homme. [The style is the man]. Indeed! The law permits me to write, only I am supposed to write in a style different from mine!” (3)

The Prussian state put in place the censorship laws under the guise of wanting to ‘improve’ journalism. Marx saw straight through this, anyone with half a brain should object to unjustifiable censorship, they believe that if those they disagree with are censored then that censorship is justifiable, it works in their favour. Modern “Marxists” (meaning, people who call themselves Marxists but advocate positions antithetical to Marx’s actual writing) cheer on censorship now as it is censorship directed towards their political opponents, they are blind to the fact that granting the powerful the ability to censor puts them in danger too. Cheering on governments and corporations as they gain more censorship power is like handing a gun to the person mugging you with a knife, you are handing them more power to use against you!

‘The preface of the Instruction reads: “In this way it is to be hoped that…” The “that” governs a whole series of regulations, that is, that political literature and the daily press recognize their task better than before, that they acquire a more dignified tone, etc., etc., that they abstain from printing meaningless reports from foreign newspapers, etc. All these regulations are still placed in the realm of hope; but the conclusion, connected to the preceding by a dash – “a tendency that is the undoubted function of the censorship to combat” – saves the censor the tedious job of waiting for the hoped-for improvement of the daily press and empowers him, rather, to strike out at anything disagreeable without further ado. The internal cure is replaced by amputation.’ (4)

Much in the same way that censorship in Marx’s time was put in place under the guise of ‘improving journalistic quality’, censorship in 2019 is put in place under the same fallacious sentiment. In reality corporations and governments are increasing the amount of power they have over us: this is exactly what Marx was talking about when he refers to those in power owning the means of both material and mental production!!!!!!

The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, consequently also controls the means of mental production, so that the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are on the whole subject to it.” (5)

Not long after the publishing of Remarks on the Latest Prussian Censorship Instruction, Karl Marx had to flee Prussia:

“In January 1843, King Frederick William IV of Prussia issued an order tot kill the Rheinische Zeitung. Marx then went into exile, first in Paris and then in Brussels.” (6)

There is legitimate censorship, undoubtedly, any normal person wants pornography hidden from children, paedophillic content taken off the interne -, grotesque and ghastly videos removed in general (with the exception the reporting of such a newsworthy incident that the public needs to be made aware of). Currently ‘hate speech’ is used for an excuse to censor, but ‘hate speech’ is a vague umbrella term used to encompass subjective emotional responses to someone saying something that the other disagrees with.

Modern “Marxists”  are naively believing that they are in charge; that they have the cultural hegemony; that they are navigating society in their direction. I want to ask a few questions here, and I mean them sincerely as well. I am not being antagonistic, in fact I opposed to capitalism. I am not a standard Right-winger either, as Alain de Benoist says in the preface to the 2001 edition of Vu de Droite: “Later on I would express the wish that ‘one attains a position in which one is, at the same time, both right and left’. (7)” I believe that restricting ones ideas to a singular position on the political spectrum, or a singular ideology, is completely nonsensical. The only way we can create a new system that benefits us all is by looking at things from both sides. I will draw from Slavoj Zizek to explain this.

On both the Left and Right we have two anti-capitalist movements growing in size, both of them oppose capitalism but are tackling it for different reasons, I believe both sides have correct and incorrect reasons for opposing capitalism, both propose solutions that are valid and invalid. What do I mean by this?

They are both correct to attack capitalism as it has created the unstable society we live in, they both attack the media institutions which spread fallacious new stories (fallacious in the sense that they spread both fake stories, but also focus on specific stories which antagonize the public while ignoring legitimate stories that we need to know about). Both sides believe that the media generates a narrative to direct society in a certain way, both side with the media when they are running a narrative they agree with. Capitalists donate money to politicians for direct access, ‘I give you X , you return the favour.’ Capitalists fill tv shows and movies with products they want to advertise.

Both the Left and Right attack the same institutions for the exact same thing, all that differs is the story through which they attack that institution for that particular thing, the Left attack A for X, the Right attack A for Y – X and Y are the only difference here, they are both attacking A!

In Slavoj Zizek’s The Parallax View, he defines the parallax gap as:

“The confrontation of two closely linked perspective between which no neutral common ground is possible.”

At first the anti-capitalist Left and Right appear to be two incompatible groups, no neutral ground is possible. Why? It is simple, they are coming at the same problem from different views, they both know what the problem is, they differ on the reasoning and the solution – this is why we need to all expose ourselves to different arguments! Dear Marxists, stop trying to censor a group by using corporations which you are supposed to be against, you are censoring people who are against corporations, corporations which Marxists should be against in the first f#cking place!

I must ask, do you really think that the government and corporations are siding with you out of sincerity? Do you really believe that Nike, Gillette and so forth are genuine in their expression of your values, or is it because they see you as a useful tool? They do not care about your values, they care about profit, do you believe that Karl Marx would have supported their campaign, or would he have said “what are you doing?! They are playing you for fools!”

If Karl Marx had have taken the knee and bowed down to the Prussian government he could have spent his life working peacefully as a journalist, he may have even taken a position as an academic if he played along with the censorship, but no, he spoke out against it. Marx wanted ideas freely expressed, he also advocated for the working-class, today you modern “Marxists” are advocating policies that damage the working-class, a majority of you live comfortably in middle class suburbs away from the working-class, you cheer on Islam, a religion which supports the death penalty for your ‘lgbtqx’ group.

You advocate for minority groups, further dividing the working-class which is meant to band together against the bourgeoisie. You have corporate backing, you work alongside the very class of which you are meant to rally against! You cheer on censorship, Karl Marx loved the notion of freedom of speech! Both Marx and Lenin spoke at Speakers Corner in England! You are not truly Marxists, you have not read The German Ideology, Grundrisse, Das Kapital or any of Marx’s work! If you were truly Marxists you would be against censorship!

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  1. The Difference Between the Democritean and EpicureanPhilosophy of Nature.
  2. Saul K. Padover, The Essential Marx (USA: Signet Classics, 1979), 2.
  3. ibid, 265.
  4. ibid. 267.
  5. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Collected Works Volume 5 1845-1847, These on Feuerbach, The German Ideology, Related Manuscripts (NY: International Publishers, 1976), 5.
  6. ibid. 262.
  7. Alain de Benoist, View From The Right Vol. 1, (UK: Arktos Media Ltd., 2017), pg. x.

The Writer

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